PEOPLE gather at the scene of the suicide attack near Quetta on Sunday.—Reuters
PEOPLE gather at the scene of the suicide attack near Quetta on Sunday.—Reuters

QUETTA: Four personnel of the paramilitary Frontier Corps were martyred and 21 others injured in a suicide bombing at a convoy on Quetta-Mastung road, some 25km from here, on Sunday.

The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

According to officials, the FC convoy was targeted in the morning when the personnel deployed at Sona Khan check-post were retur­ning to their headquarters after performing night duty and handing over the charge to another contingent.

When three vehicles they were travelling in reached the roadside, a powerful explosion took place close to a vehicle, resulting in martyrdom of three FC soldiers and injuries to 22 others.

Deputy Inspector Gen­eral of Quetta police Azhar Akram said that a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden motorcycle into the FC convoy.

The three vehicles were damaged by the powerful blast, a spokesman for the Counter Terrorism Depart­ment (CTD) said.

Security forces cordoned off the area and shifted the bodies and the injured to Sheikh Zayed Hospital. “We received three bodies and 22 injured in the hospital,” the spokesman for the hospital said.

Later the bodies and the injured were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital, Quetta, where another FC soldier died.

The condition of at least three injured is said to be serious. The injured include 19 FC personnel and two civilians.

The CTD officials said that the head and body parts of the suicide bomber were found at the explosion site and shifted to hospital for identification of the deceased.

A Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) team collected evidence from the blast site and confirmed that it was a suicide attack. “Around 6kg explosives have been planted in the motorcycle and the suicide jacket of the suicide bomber,” a BDS official said.

The funeral prayer of the martyred FC personnel was performed in the evening and attended by Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langove, Corps Commander of Quetta Lt. Gen Sarfaraz Ali, IG of FC-North Mohammad Yousaf Majoka and other senior officials.

Later, the bodies of martyred FC personnel were sent to their native areas.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, Governor of Balochistan Syed Zahoor Agha, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, Home Minister Langove and other ministers and tribal elders have condemned the suicide attack and expressed grief over the martyrdom of the FC personnel.

Prime Minister Khan said in a tweet: “[I] Condemn the TTP suicide attack on FC check post, Mastung road, Quetta. My condolences go to the families of the martyrs & prayers for the recovery of the injured. Salute our security forces & their sacrifices to keep us safe by thwarting foreign-backed terrorists’ designs.”

The chief minister directed the health officials to provide best treatment facilities to the injured. He said that the elements involved in the inhuman act would not be spared and would be brought to justice soon.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2021

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